APPLICATION PROCESS

How to become an ATIO member.

PATH TO CERTIFICATION

Becoming a certified ATIO member involves several stages:

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Step 1 - Applicant

First you must submit an application for membership. At this point you are considered an Applicant while your supporting documentation is vetted and, in the case of translators, an Entrance Exam is taken.

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Step 2 - Candidate

After passing the entrance criteria, you are an ATIO Member and Candidate for Certification. As a Candidate, you have five years to pass the Certification Exam or On Dossier process. As a Candidate for Certification you may also participate in ATIO’s events, workshops and training opportunities.

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Step 3 - Certified

Once you have passed the Certification Exam (or On Dossier equivalent) you are then considered a Certified Member.

APPLYING FOR MEMBERSHIP

Who Can Join ATIO?

In order to join ATIO, an applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Meet the admission criteria for the various professional categories outlined below. This includes already possessing a combination of professional and educational experience in translation, interpretation or terminology.

Applicants are not required to be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, making it easier for those from outside of Canada to apply for and obtain certification. However, please note that all exams are written in-person in either Toronto or Ottawa.

DID YOU KNOW?

Certification is not the first step.

ATIO is the professional association for translators, interpreters and interpreters. The certification exam tests the competency of professional translators and interpreters. We do not provide training courses for learning how to translate or interpret. If you are just getting started in the industry, we recommend contacting a recognized post-secondary institution near you for more information on translation, interpretation and terminology training programs.

ADMISSION CRITERIA Print All

ATIO supports translators, interpreters and terminologists. Some of these professions have several categories. Please consult the admission criteria of your professional category below.

If you are interested in becoming a Candidate for Certification in Translation, you must:

hold a university degree in translation that is recognized by the Association (in this case, you would be exempt from writing the Entrance Exam);
OR
hold a university degree plus the equivalent of two years of full-time experience in translation in each language combination for which the applicant is applying;
OR
have the equivalent of four years of full-time experience in translation in each language combination for which the applicant is applying;
OR
be a candidate for certification in translation in good standing of a member association of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC).

Full-time experience (within the last five years) must be attested to by a recent letter of reference from an employer or from each of two clients if the applicant works as an independent/freelance.

If your application is accepted, you will be invited to write the Translation Entrance Exam. You must pass this Entrance Exam in order to join the Association and become a Candidate for Certification in Translation. 

If you are interested in becoming a Candidate for Certification in Conference Interpretation, you must:
hold a university degree in conference interpreting that is recognized by the Association or have successfully completed a university or post-graduate program in conference interpreting recognized by the Association;
OR
must be able to substantiate 100 days of experience as a conference interpreter, at least 50 days in each active language [A,B] they are requesting and at least 30 days from each passive language [C] they are requesting;
OR
be a candidate for certification in conference interpreting in good standing of a member association of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC).

Full-time experience (within the last five years) must be attested to by a recent letter of reference from an employer or from each of two clients if the applicant works as an independent/freelance.

If you are interested in becoming a Candidate for Certification in Court Interpretation, you must:
hold a university degree in court interpreting that is recognized by the Association or have successfully completed a course in court interpreting recognized by the Association;
OR
be accredited as a court interpreter by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and submit proof of 300 hours of experience as a court interpreter;
OR
be able to substantiate 600 hours of experience as a court interpreter in Canada;
OR
be a candidate for certification in court interpreting in good standing of a member association of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC).

Full-time experience (within the last five years) must be attested to by a recent letter of reference from an employer or from each of two clients if the applicant works as an independent/freelance.

If you are interested in becoming a Candidate for Certification in Community Interpretation, you must:
Demonstrate the achievement on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of a level of fluency of at least 7, or the equivalent, or level C1 on the Test de connaissance du français (TCF), or the equivalent,

AND EITHER

Hold a university degree in community interpreting that is recognized by the Association or have successfully completed a post-secondary program in community interpreting recognized by the Association
OR
Be accredited as a community interpreter by a certifying body recognized by the Association, and submit proof of 300 hours of experience as a community interpreter,
OR
Be able to substantiate 600 hours of experience as a community interpreter in Canada.

Full-time experience (within the last five years) must be attested to by a recent letter of reference from an employer or from each of two clients if the applicant works as an independent/freelance.

If you are interested in becoming a Candidate for Certification in Medical Interpretation, you must:

demonstrate the achievement on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of a level of fluency of at least 7, or the equivalent, or level C1 on the Test de connaissance du français (TCF), or the equivalent,

AND EITHER

Hold a university degree in medical interpreting that is recognized by the Association or have successfully completed a post-secondary program in medical interpreting recognized by the Association
OR
Be accredited as a medical interpreter by a certifying body recognized by the Association, and submit proof of 300 hours of experience as a medical interpreter,
OR
Be able to substantiate 600 hours of experience as a medical interpreter in Canada.

Full-time experience (within the last five years) must be attested to by a recent letter of reference from an employer or from each of two clients if the applicant works as an independent/freelance.

If you are interested in becoming a Candidate for Certification in Terminology, you must:
hold a university degree recognized by the Association in terminology or in translation, with a specialization in terminology;
OR
submit proof of two years of experience as a terminologist, attested to by a recent letter of reference from an employer or from each of two clients if the applicant works as an independent/freelance terminologist;
OR
be a candidate for certification in terminology in good standing of a member association of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC).

Full-time experience (within the last five years) must be attested to by a recent letter of reference from an employer or from each of two clients if the applicant works as an independent/freelance.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION FORM

Click here to open the on-line fillable ATIO Membership Application Form

Application Form

Please print, sign and date your ATIO Membership Application Form before submitting your complete application package to ATIO.  There is a non-refundable fee of $66.37 (plus tax) for each application.

Remember to send us all of the required documentation in your application package, such as:

  • the signed and dated ATIO Membership Application Form;
  • proof of your professional experience for each language combination;
  • reference letter(s) substantiating your professional relevant experience;
  • a copy of each of your relevant post secondary degree(s); and
  • your curriculum vitae.

Please note that non required admission documents will not be consulted, conserved or returned to the applicant. These documents will be destroyed according to our administrative procedures.

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Maximum attachement size: 4M / Taille maximum des pièces jointes : 4 Mo
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Application FAQs

How do I prove my experience?

In the case of translation, full-time experience must be attested to by a recent letter of reference from an employer or from at least two clients if you work as an independent/freelance translator. In order to prove four years of full-time experience in translation, you will have to show —by means of invoices, copies of contracts, letters from clients or employers— that you have translated an average of 100,000 words/year in your language combination. Please note that voluntary work will not be taken into account. For interpreters, your letters of reference must come from your clients and indicate the number of hours of interpretation services you have provided and in what settings.

What should my letters of reference include?

A letter of reference attests to your experience. It should be written by an employer or a client, someone who is familiar with your work. These letters should be written on the company letterhead, signed and dated by the referee and include his or her contact details. The letters of reference should indicated the number of words the applicant translated per year per language combination or the number of hours of interpretation provided. The letters and experience must be from within the last five years.

How do you measure years of experience?

In the case of translation, the Association requires an average of 100,000 words/year translated in each language combination. Please note, that for example, French to English is one language combination and English to French is another.

What degrees do you recognize?

For translation, we recognize bachelor’s, master’s or doctorates in translation. We do not recognize translation certificate programs. In Ontario, York University (Glendon College), the University of Ottawa and the Université de Hearst are the only three universities that offer recognized degree programs in translation.

For conference interpretation, we recognize the master’s degree from York University (Glendon College) and the University of Ottawa.

For community, medical and court interpretation, we recognize the Language Interpreter Training Program certificate from Niagara College, Seneca College, Mohawk College, Humber College, St. Clair College, or Conestoga.

For questions regarding programs completed outside of Ontario, please contact us for more information.

My degree is from abroad, is a credential assessment by World Education Services (WES) mandatory?

World Education Services is one of the organizations listed on the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentiel website,http://www.cicic.ca/415/credential-assessment-services.canada, which “assists individuals, employers, professionals and organizations regarding foreign credential recognition and the assessment of diplomas and qualifications in Canada.” If the institution is not listed on the UNESCO website http://www.iau-aiu.net/ your foreign credentials must be assessed by an assessment organization.

Why can’t you tell me NOW if my application will be accepted? I want to be sure that it will be accepted before sending my documents.

The assessment of application is a careful and thorough process. The Association has to make sure that candidates for certification in the different language categories fulfill all requirements. This is in line with the Association’s purpose of promoting a high level of competence and protecting the public.

What is the entrance exam and why should I write it? I am a professional already.

All applicants in translation must pass the Entrance Exam, unless you have a degree from an ATIO-recognized institution. There is no Entrance Exam required for the interpretation or terminology categories.

Can I appeal a decision regarding the Entrance Exam?

All Entrance Exam results are final. You must wait one year to reapply. Please note that you will required to write the whole exam the next time you take the Entrance Exam.

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